Kip Lornell

Photo of Kip Lornell
Adjunct professor of Ethnomusicology and History,
Music Program
Phillips B-142
[email protected]


Kip Lornell has been teaching courses in American music and ethnomusicology at GW since 1992.  

Current Position and Current Research

  • Currently, Prof. Lornell's research is mostly focused on music in the DMV


  • Lornell and Charles Wolfe earned the ASCAP—Deems Taylor book award for The Life and Legend of Leadbelly (Harper Collins, 1993).
  • Lornell won a 1997 Grammy for his contribution to the album notes for Smithsonian Folkways “Anthology of American Folk Music.”
  • Lornell's sixteenth and seventeenth books were published in 2019: The Blues Come to Texas Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book, Compiled by Alan Govenar with Documentation and Essays by Alan Govenar and Kip Lornell, was published by Texas A & M Press in January. In October, Oxford University Press will issue Capital Bluegrass: Hillbilly Music Meets Urban Culture as a solo authored book. 
  • In addition to these books, he has published 102 articles or essays in scholarly and popular journals & magazines and has presented a similar number of talks and lectures & papers at scholarly meetings and universities across the United States.
  • He is currently at work on two more books,an anthology of writings by the late  country music scholar Charles K. Wolfe and a biography of bluegrass mandolin wizard Buzz Busby.


Ph.D. University of Memphis, 1983

Professional Organizations

  • Since the early 1980s, Kip Lornell has been an active member of the Society for American Music, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 2014, he founded the D.C. Vernacular Music Archives, which is housed at Gelman Library.